I noticed that the Booker Prize has been trending recently as the shortlist was announced this week. I love a good read and a question I often ask people within the business is - what’s the last book you read? Some people are drawn to fictional stories that take them to a different place. Some are attracted to autobiographies and finding out about the lives of others. The ones that always intrigue me are business books. I have read many, and am not too proud to admit that they have inspired me and shaped my leadership style.  Here are some of the key learnings from my favourite business books:

The first book summarises habits of highly effective people. It’s a practical, pragmatic and realistic explanation of how people find a way to put order into the puzzles of business. I would certainly recommend reading this book but here’s a few of the habits that resonate with me. Be a proactive, positive person. Don’t worry about things you cannot change, focus on the things you can and take control. Secondly, be creative. Use your imagination and think beyond what you see in front of you.  Another habit revolves around the ‘win-win’ ideology. Build mutually beneficial relationships and never take pleasure in the downfall of others. Just because they lose, it doesn’t mean you win. There’s plenty to go round. Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The second book is not necessarily an easy read but provides high level thinking on the way things are and the way they could be. It makes some enlightened observations about acceptance of where we are in the business world, so that we can plan for where we want to be. This book also touches on the concept of dual nationality which is particularly relevant for our business in terms of the many hats we wear when working for a manufacturer brand, for a dealer group, that belongs to a parent company. Very interesting. Charles Handy, The Empty Raincoat

The last book, or books in this case, are Zapp! and also Heroz which are both along the same theme of empowerment. They’re fantastic and a great one to make you reflect on how people interact within organisations and its told in a way which makes it a very easy read.  A must read for leaders. The lesson with this one? Be a Zapper!

 What was the last book you read?